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Oshawa votes 2018: Ward 5

The Oshawa Express continues its in-depth coverage leading up to election day with a look at the candidates in Ward Five.  We have reached out to all candidates and asked them what they see as the main issues in their ward. We will continue onto candidates for mayor and regional chair/CEO in next week’s edition.

 

REGIONAL COUNCILLORS

Kim Beatty

Profession: Business owner

What do you see as the main issue(s) in your ward?

Ensure that we have a livable community that meets the need of our diversified demographic.

– Create a network of collaborative partners to address affordable housing for vulnerable and low-income residents.

– Find opportunities that bring jobs to our community. Developing a more diverse economy allows for more vibrant and inclusive job creation.

– Investing in transit and making changes such as improving access to community hubs and employment areas would create a walkable transit-friendly ward. Easier commutes for local residents and a benefit to businesses looking to locate to our city.

– Create a healthy community with access to clean, safe, accessible parks that benefit all residents.

– Develop a workable strategy for a family-friendly waterfront, which includes a boat launch for recreational boaters, as well as commercial opportunities to make it a destination point that would create more jobs while preserving our natural environment. Key is community engagement before and during the process.

 

Brian Nicholson

Profession: I am currently a full time candidate for Regional and City Council. Previously, I have been an advocate for my own consulting company, a vice-president of government relations and public policy for a business development and infrastructure, an adjudicator for the Ontario Rental Housing Tribunal and for over 23 years, a City and Regional Councillor for Southern Oshawa.

What do you see as the main issue(s) in your ward?

We have seen our property taxes go up over 40 per cent; our water and electricity bills skyrocket; our public transit becomes more expensive as routes are cut.  Rents and mortgages go up and up. Our pensions and paycheques do not.  It’s harder each year to make ends meet. Despite this windfall of cash, our public services decay, our schools are closed and demolished, and our waterfront and natural areas are sold off and paved over. Over the last eight years, council has spent all our money on growth in North Oshawa and beyond.   It gets me angry when my tax dollars are spent elsewhere, and our needs are ignored. We pay more and more and get less and less.  As Southern Oshawa’s councillor for over 20 years, I made sure that our community’s needs were met. Now our community’s hard work is being allowed to waste away. I know that most of my Southern Oshawa neighbours feel that we can do better and we will.

 

Nester Pidwerbecki

Profession: Oshawa City and Regional Councillor – citywide

What do you see as the main issue(s) in your ward?

Ward 5 has many attributes that make a great community; however, like other city locations, there are small areas with high needs.

Assisting many people is Carea Community Health Centre, a multi-service, non-profit organization providing a variety of free, programs and services to people of all ages – infants to seniors.  Located on Grassmere Avenue, Carea offerings include health and wellness promotion; primary care, counselling and mental health programs.

Carea does a fabulous job, but it cannot provide community policing.  Although the Durham Regional Police Service is an active participant with local organizations, the South Oshawa Police Station is not being utilized to its potential.

A new city initiative, the Wentworth Street West Community Improvement Plan, has been developed to support job creation, improve building facades and encourage development; however, banking services and a walk-in-clinic are lacking.

A further void is the lack of a lakefront marina and boat launch.

 

LOCAL CANDIDATES

Alex Down

Profession: Realtor and public relations consultant

What do you see as the main issue(s) in your ward?

As one of the fastest growing communities in Durham Region, our leaders need fresh, strong voices to propel our community forward. We need bold ideas to prepare for the future to make Oshawa work for everyone. I plan to look forward, build on sustainability, and encourage inclusivity by innovating together.

I will address the issues in my ward by creating solutions and executing change. I feel we need to redevelop areas of the community to stimulate business, job growth, and social participation by initiating workforce and youth programs, encouraging business development, developing open space programs and strengthening neighbourhood programs to increase resident participation in community planning.

I also feel we need to increase access to services and review quality of programs by streamlining registration procedures, improving service delivery, increasing effective connections between community organizations, strengthening family programs to improve health and educational outcomes, and improving housing options in neighbourhoods.

 

John Gray

Profession: : I am a proud member of the Arbor Memorial team as Director of Family Services, holding a valid Ontario Cemetery/Crematorium Sales Representative and Funeral Pre-planner license. I assist families to plan ahead or deal with the loss of a loved one at their most vulnerable time.

What do you see as the main issue(s) in your ward?

Both the waterfront and marina are priorities for me – especially because they form a large part of Ward 5. I will encourage council to take decisive action, early in the term, and implore colleagues to develop measurable goals. Oshawa must have a reinvigorated waterfront, with appropriate residential and commercial developments, for the enjoyment and benefit of everyone. Everywhere you look, something new is being built. Growth is good, but balanced growth is better. Maintaining green space, the safeguarding of natural habitats, and consulting with local residents on potential developments, is critical to a balanced approach to growth. While development is underway, Oshawa is experiencing problems with aesthetics – to encourage growth and maintain community morale, it is important that our city’s image not be diminished by easily-addressed maintenance matters.

 

Joe Lococo

Profession: Energy and communication consultant in Oshawa

What do you see as the main issue(s) in your ward?

If I get elected, my planning process is to develop new strategic actions that build on the achievement of the original directions and continue to advance council’s vision, mission and goals. The strategic actions will develop a complement of the city’s initiatives and programs over the next four years.

The long-term vision I have for Oshawa is a dynamic, caring, friendly and sustainable city; a mission to champion the economic, social and environmental vitality of South Oshawa; strategic goals related to the themes of city building, economic vitality, environmental sustainability, social development and good governance; and fiscal principles to guide the city’s fiscal framework.

Oshawa is a diverse, liveable and prosperous city from the quality of life to economic prosperity. My goal is to continue the growth, create jobs for our community, bring in some of the world leaders, and open shop on our land, build South Oshawa to become the place where people will want to live, shop, work and play.